A few years back Jamaican singer Brina took me by storm with her uplifting double A-side single Listen/Real Reggae Music. It was later followed by the diverse album Under the Sun.
Lala Vizuri was partly translated into Swahili for her debut album and now she has decided to go all the way with the Swahili language. Her new EP brings Jamaican reggae to Africa, and it is sung in Swahili. Probably the first time a Jamaican artist has sung songs completely in Swahili.
“I see myself as the successor of my ancestors and, through my music, pay homage to them with every note I sing. Even though I was born in Jamaica, I needed no serious convincing from anyone that I am African,” says Brina in a press release.
Reggae Sauti Za Kiswahili is a Jamaica/reggae/Swahili cross-cultural musical fusion and collects five re-worked songs – of one is a dub version – from Brina’s debut album. Real Reggae Music is for example now Naimba Real Reggae Music with the Afro Cuban Bembé drums closing the song.
In the mood for some powerful singing, bedroom lyrics and contemporary relicks of classic Jamaican riddims? Then Richie Stephens’ latest album Real Reggae Music will make you drool.
Richie Stephens is a classically trained singer with a warm and passionate voice who over the years has done his fair share of cover versions, including pop and R&B gems from Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross and Tom Jones. He has also worked for soul giant Motown Records and spent some time singing in Soul II Soul.
Real Reggae Music collects 14 tracks, of which most are previously unreleased, produced by Danny Brownie, Radiation Squad, Steelie & Clevie and Donovan Germain. If you have a decent reggae collection you’ll probably recognize most of the riddims, such as The Uniques’ rocksteady anthem My Conversation or Johnny Clarke’s dismal None Shall Escape the Judgement. The most recognizable track is however an up-tempo version of Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry.
It has been a while since Jamaican romantic crooners Sanchez, Singing Melody and Lukie D dropped albums, and while you wait for those you should give this mature set a spin.
Brina is an upcoming female reggae singer from Jamaica, who recently put out her debut double A side single Listen/Real Reggae Music.
These two tunes are real scorchers. Believe me. If you like early 70’s reggae Trojan or Pama style, then both tunes will surely appeal to you.
Listen is a soul-drenched one drop whereas Real Reggae Music is a pure summer banger reminiscent of Reggae From the Ghetto with its gospel chorus.
Brina recently opened for The Mighty Diamonds and The Jolly Boys on their UK tours. And her upcoming debut album features a stellar line-up of musicians – Sly Dunbar, Toots Hibbert, Michael “Ibo” Cooper, Dean Fraser and Nambo Robinson just to name a few.
Brina’s powerful voice and style can be compared to the queen of reggae Marcia Griffiths, so be sure to check out her single on a download platform near you.